Corey Kluber turned back the clock as the New York Yankees swept the Tigers by a score of 2-0. The crafty righty carried the Yankees back to .500 and notched his 100th career win, out-dueling the extremely impressive José Ureńa. While the bats were quiet after Friday and Saturday’s performances, pitching was all they needed to get over the line in this one.
Everything worked for Kluber in this one. His location, pitch mix, and movement kept Tigers batters off-balance all afternoon. After setting the tone with lightning quick 6 pitch first, Kluber struck out the side in the 2nd. His afternoon came to an early tipping point in the 3rd, as a leadoff walk and single started the jam, only for a wild pitch to evade Kyle Higashioka and move them up to scoring position. However, Kluber battled back, overcoming two missed strike calls on Robbie Grossman to strike him and the subsequent Jeimer Candelario out swinging.
After that, it was easy sailing for Kluber. He retired 15 of his next 16 batters, inducing soft contact and notching three more strikeouts to bring his total to 10 for the day. With his final line at 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, and 10 Ks, Kluber put in a performance not seen since September 18, 2018 as an Indian against the White Sox. Kluber handed the baton to Aroldis Chapman, who closed out the game for his 6th save of the season. Chapman added two more Ks, bringing the total to 24 in his authoritative start to the season.
A Quiet Day for the Bats
The Yankees offense showed up early today, plating both of their runs and all three of their hits in the first two innings in support of Kluber. Giancarlo Stanton continued his 9-game hitting streak with a 118.8 MPH single up the middle in the 1st. However, a lineout by Aaron Judge and easy groundout from Rougned Odor left him stranded.
Gio Urshela led off the 2nd with a grounder that hugged the 3rd baseline and tapped the corner of the bag for a single. Aaron Hicks worked a walk and after Mike Ford lined out to deep center, Higashioka rapped a double down the left field line to plate Urshela. Brett Gardner then socked a line drive to the wall in right, but a leaping catch by Grossman saved extra bases though allowing Hicks to trot home easily on the sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Nevertheless, with the way Kluber pitched, those two runs felt like a mountain to the Tigers’ hitters.
That’s how the entirety of the scoring would play out, as José Ureńa settled down magnificently, retiring the next 17 Yankees he faced. It was an impressive return to New York for Ureña, who when he last visited as a member of the Miami Marlins in 2020 was struck by a comebacker from DJ LeMahieu, breaking his right forearm and ending his season.
Kluber Performance Propels Big Week Ahead
Following their sweep of the Tigers, the Yankees “welcome” the Houston Astros to the Bronx with fans for the first time. Though Corey Kluber will not be available until the weekend series against the Nationals, the Yankees will trot out Domingo Germán, Jordan Montgomery, and Gerrit Cole against Houston. Yankees fans will hope they start the series with a bang on Tuesday evening.